On 22 October 2013, we described how the dysfunctional Healthcare.gov web site could be fixed within a very short period of time.
It turns out that three of our code-developer colleagues have put the shopping portion of our solution into effect:
Meet the Health Sherpa, the website HealthCare.gov probably should have been. George Kalogeropoulos, Ning Liang and Michael Wasser saw the troubled launch and decided they could do a better health care enrolment website better than the government and, by golly, they succeeded. The Health Sherpa makes it ridiculously easy for anyone to compare health care plans covered under Obamacare in 34 states. (They left out the 16 states with existing marketplace sites, though it seems support for those states is coming soon.) The result is a simple, beautiful, remarkably responsive website that anyone could use.
Here's what their site looks like today:
Here's the part of our plan that they executed:
Now, notice that we haven't specified just how the Healthcare.gov web site will itself be fixed. Well, all those tech surge troops can redesign the entire site after first throwing out about 5 million lines of useless code, to instead simply present a place where people can click their state and drill down to their county or city to find links to the sites of the government-approved health insurance providers serving their area, and nothing else.
No accounts to set up, no passwords to memorize, no multiple screens of denied access - none of that nonsense.
And they wouldn't even have to change the current launch screen for the Healthcare.gov site!
See! Transforming Healthcare.gov into a web site that actually works just isn't that hard - if the Obama administration is willing to be transparent how much their health insurance will cost and otherwise remove the federal government from the picture altogether.
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